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Vermont To Host The 2016 Rainbow Gathering

Rick Bowner
Crowds make their way to the 2014 Rainbow Gathering in Utah. The Rainbow Family of Living Light Spring Council chose an area near Forest Road 10, in the Green Mountain National Forest for this year's gathering.

This year'sRainbow Gathering will be held in Vermont. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the gathering near Mount Tabor during the week of July 4.

The Rainbow Gathering is a one-to-two week encampment. Attendees build kitchens and medical tents, play music and offer workshops. 

On July 4 there is a silent meditation for world peace. 

The gathering is held every year in a different national forest around the country.

And this year, The Rainbow Family of Living Light Spring Council chose an area near Forest Road 10, in the Green Mountain National Forest between Manchester and Rutland.

Forest Supervisor John Sinclair says the event will likely have an impact across the state.

"They'll be coming in from all around the country," Sinclair says. "So they'll be coming in from north, south, east and west to attend this gathering. The focus of the gathering will be in Mount Tabor, but they'll be needing to go through many of the neighboring communities to get to the forest beforehand."

There are already members of the Rainbow family in the forest, Sinclair says, and people will be steadily joining them over the next few weeks.

Sinclair says Vermont will receive help from the U.S. National Forest Service to manage the crowds and protect the natural resources. A community meeting will be held soon to plan for the event.

"This will be one of the largest events that we have ever hosted," Sinclair says. "The Rainbow Family hosts this national gathering every year, so for the national forest over all, how we manage this Rainbow Family Gathering is not new to us."

The Forest Service uses an agency National Incident Management Team (NIMT) in coordination with local Forest Service personnel to manage the impacts. The NIMT has arrived in Vermont and is already working with local and state agencies.

The first Rainbow Gathering was held in 1972 and the 1991 gathering was held near Granville, in central Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state.
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